Apr 01, 2013
How to Grow Sunflower Sprouts
If you’ve never tried sunflower sprouts, you’re missing a wonderful flavor! Slightly nutty, pleasantly sharp and distinctly fresh, they are like no other. And they’re pretty easy to grow, too!
Sunflower seeds themselves are very nutrient-rich. But sprouting the seeds can multiply their nutritional value by 300 to 1,200 percent!
The many health benefits of sunflower sprouts:
- Sunflower sprouts are a perfect source of protein. In fact, they are considered to be one of the best sources of essential amino acids.
- They boost your fertility as they contain high amounts of zinc. Zinc is a well-researched mineral that is essential for the development of sperm.
- Sunflower greens are a nutritional powerhouse packed with vitamins A, B complex, D, and E; they also contain minerals including calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus.
- Sunflower sprouts are high in B vitamins, especially folate, which is very important for pregnant women to consume.
- Sunflower greens are a rich source of lecithin which helps break down fatty acids into an easily digestible water soluble form.
- They are rich in chlorophyll which benefits many functions within the body, including building blood supply, revitalizing tissue, calming inflammation, activating enzymes, and deodorizing the body.
- The sunflower sprout is a natural expectorant for chest congestion. In Ayurvedic medicine, these sprouts are thought to have the ability to encourage clearance of the lungs. Natural expectorants may also be used as a preventative measure against lower respiratory infections to deter the invasion of pathogens.
- Boost your antioxidant capacity with sunflower sprouts. They contain high amounts of vitamin E, which works synergistically with vitamin C and selenium to reduce blood pressure, increase the elasticity of arteries and prevent heart disease.
- Sunflower microgreens are low in calories and high in nutrition, making them ideal for any natural and healthy weight loss program.
What you’ll need:
- 1/4 cup organic unhulled sunflower seeds (you can find them in the bulk bins at your health food store)
- 2 matching (same size) glass pie plates
- organic soil, enough to fill one of the pie plates half full
Here is the step-by-step:
Add a good quality soil to one of the plates, filling half way. Rinse the seeds and scatter them onto the soil, spreading them as evenly as possible. With your sink hose, on low pressure, add enough water just to moisten the soil.
Place the empty pie plate on top of the seeds. This will provide something for them to push against as they start growing. You will be very surprised when you see them actually pushing the pie plate UP! Place in a dark place, like a closet (but don’t forget about them!). Check them each day and water as needed. Once again, use the kitchen sprayer if you have one. You don’t want to disturb the seeds too much. You can use the top plate to hold things in place while you drain off the excess water.
See? Isn’t that remarkable. Those sprouts are strong enough to push that heavy plate up! When there is about an inch of space between the two plates, it’s time for your cute little sprouts to come out into the sunshine. This usually takes about 3 days.
Here they are, ready to stand up straight and get green. As they start to stand upright they will shed their black hulls. Feel free to help them along once they are standing up. Gently remove the hulls and discard. Keep them in a sunny location and water as needed.
Here you can see the magic of photosynthesis! You can harvest them whenever you like. I prefer mine to be about 3-4 inches long which requires 2-3 days of growth. When they’ve reached the desired growth, simply snip them as close to the soil as possible with a pair of scissors. After you cut them, wrap them in a paper towel, place them in a plastic bag and then into the refrigerator. They should store well for up to 7 days. You can re-rinse and re-wrap them every few days to keep them fresh.
|fields of wild sunflowers in New Mexico near where I used to live|